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Guitar World Year in Review: The Top 10 Viral Videos of 2014

As 2015 rapidly approaches, Guitar World is taking a nostalgic look back at the most popular stories, videos, lessons and features of 2014.

Be sure to check out our other 2014 Year in Review stories right here.

Today, we're revisiting the 10 most popular "viral" videos to be shared on in 2014. How did we determine what was the most popular? Like most things in online land, it all came down to page views.

Note that while we usually keep this top-10 list to videos that do not feature famous, world-recognized artists, one or two famous faces have crept into this year's list. We feel that leaving them out would be misleading; ergo, what you're seeing here are the 10 most-watched viral videos of the year—without any "list editing" on our part.

That said, for the most part, you'll find videos that shine the spotlight on regular people whose skills captured the attention of a wide online audience in 2014.

What can we determine from this list? readers enjoy watching other guitarists—of all sexes and age groups (but, well, mostly females, it's safe to say)—shred. And there's one teenage girl from France who—like last year—almost has a monopoly on our list.

On that note, sit back and enjoy the shredding!

P.S.: In the spirit of the holidays (and our poor math skills), we've provided an extra video for your viewing pleasure—for a grand total of 11! Enjoy!
11. 10-Year-Old Blind Boy Plays Robert Johnson-Style Acoustic Blues — Video

The viral video below shows a 10-year-old blind boy, Felix St. Hilare of Quebec, Canada, performing some Robert Johnson-style Delta blues on acoustic guitar, which he plays flat on his lap, much like the late Jeff Healey.

Felix, who speaks French, has the coolest pajamas and knows his way around a turnaround. He even does a fine job singing in English, capturing the feel of a moaning Johnson in a few choice spots.

Felix was born blind. His mother, Marie-Eve Soucy, said her son was always fascinated by music and used to play with tam-tams in his high chair as a baby.

For more about Felix, check out this story.

10. Eddie Van Halen Talks to His Girlfriend — Animated Video

Below, check out an excerpt from an upcoming animated skit show called 6 Pack.

The clip—which was written by Mark Shields and Jim Sharkey and animated by Shields—shows a young Eddie Van Halen having a conversation with his girlfriend.

"Being a big Van Halen fan growing up, this skit is as much a tribute as it is a possible gag for the show," writes Shields on YouTube. "I tried to use all of Eddie's versions of the songs, but I had to play 'Feel Your Love Tonight,' 'Dance The Night Away,' 'Drop Dead Legs' and 'Outta Love Again' myself. I couldn't find isolated versions of [Eddie playing them]. My apologies."

09. Paganini Guitar Duel: The Commander-In-Chief and Craig Ogden Play Caprice No. 24 — Video presents the premiere of a new recording and performance video by the Commander-In-Chief, a seven-string guitarist from Norway who now lives in England, and classical guitarist Craig Ogden.

The duo have collaborated on Caprice No. 24 by Niccolo Paganini, the 18th- and 19th-century Italian composer whose music has influenced scores of guitarists, including Yngwie Malmsteen.

It's the final caprice of Paganini's 24 Caprices, and a work that's usually associated with solo violin. It's considered one of the most difficult pieces ever written for solo violin.

It requires several advanced techniques such as parallel octaves and rapid shifting covering many intervals, extremely fast scales and arpeggios including minor scales in thirds and 10ths, left-hand pizzicato and quick string crossing.

"We chose Caprice 24 since it is the most challenging of all of Paganini's pieces, and I really love it," the Commander-In-Chief told us earlier today.

"It was very challenging to play, especially the pizzicata part, variation 9; it took a long time to get that one right. It starts at 3:50 [in the video]. It wasn't easy playing that on electric guitar."

The song is from 2 Guitars: The Classical Crossover Album, the new album by the duo. For more info on the release (and to pre-order), visit

You might remember the Commander-In-Chief from her last "guitar duel" video, a version of Pablo de Sarasate's Zigeunerweisen Op. 20 she recorded with classical guitarist Thomas Valeur in 2013. It was one of's most popular videos of the year. You can watch it here.

This time, the Commander has teamed up with Ogden, who recently was featured as one of the top 20 classical guitarists of all time by ClassicFM. He's also the principal lecturer on guitar at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, and the visiting lecturer at London's Royal College of Music.

For more about the Commander-In-Chief, visit and follow her on Facebook. For more about Ogden, visit and his Facebook page.

08. 80-Year-Old Bob Wood Shreds "Besame Mucho" in Nashville Guitar Shop — Video

If you're a member of at least two or three guitar-centric Facebook groups, it's likely the video below has shown up on your news feed at least 12 times.

It shows an 80-year-old guitarist by the name of Bob Wood performing "Bésame Mucho" on an Epiphone archtop (Looks like a Sheraton to me; someone please feel free to chime in, in the comments).

The video was shared yesterday, October 8, by British Audio Service in Nashville, with the header, "This guy rules. Mr. Bob Wood, ladies and gentlemen."

Update (October 21): Since then, the original post has garnered about a million views, making Wood something of an internet sensation. To see what all the fuss is about, check out the clip below. "Bésame Mucho" (aka "Kiss me a lot") was written in 1940 by Consuelo Velázquez. It was a staple of the Beatles' early shows at the Cavern and in Hamburg.

According to Melanie Wood Moody, one of Bob's nine children, he was signed as a regular performer at Jamboree USA in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1970, and performed for 10 years. In the mid-Seventies, he was named Entertainer of the Year by Eastern States Country Music Inc. In 2007, he was inducted into The Southern Legends Country Music Hall of Fame. He has several albums to his name, including Bob Wood Plays It Cool.

For more about British Audio Service, head to We love guitar shops — and we love Nashville!

Post by British Audio Service.

07. 15-Year-Old Guitarist Tina S. Plays Gary Moore's "The Loner" — Video

Tina S.—everyone's favorite teenage French shredder—is back with another new video.

This time, Tina—who has covered everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Eddie Van Halen to Steve Vai to David Gilmour—tackles Gary Moore's "The Loner."

Tina, who turned 15 this spring, posted the video to YouTube today, June 9.

As always, Tina is playing her Vigier Excalibur Custom guitar. She was taught and filmed by her guitar instructor, Renaud Louis-Servais.

Tina has become well known to readers of for her effortless covers of Van Halen's "Eruption," Vai's version of Paganini's 5th Caprice, Dream Theater's "The Best of Times" and her shred tribute to Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi.

You also might want to check out her take on Yngwie Malmsteen's "Arpeggios from Hell," which she performed and posted in March.

For more about Tina, check out the links above, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

06. Paul Gilbert Shreds on Stand-Up Bass — Video

Below, check out a new video that was posted to Paul Gilbert's official YouTube page.

The clip shows Gilbert shredding on a stand-up bass—which probably shouldn't be called a stand-up bass in this instance since Gilbert is holding and playing it like a guitar—or a bass guitar.

The video is part of the promotional material for Gilbert's upcoming G4 Experience (Note: This was written about the 2014 G4 Experience; be sure to check out the 2015 G4 Experience). So we might as well just include all the promo info that was included with the clip:

"More than a show, more than a seminar, more than a backstage pass, the G4 Experience will give you musical inspiration and guitar ideas that will keep you playing for years to come. Those who have attended Paul's Great Guitar Escape camp know Paul puts everything into making these camps into unforgettable events.

"Paul will be performing, teaching, and offering everyone who attends a chance to jam with him. For the G4 Experience, Paul teams up with Joe Satriani, Andy Timmons and Mike Kenneally.

"All of these amazing players will be sharing their guitar knowledge and musical insights with the campers, and doing unique, close-up performances. On August 11-15, the G4 Experience will be the center of the guitar universe. Be there!"

For more about the G4 Experience, visit

05. "Battle of the Best Female Guitarists in the World" — Video

Someone (or something?) named Alizee Defan runs a YouTube channel dedicated to incredible female musicians.

At her action-packed YouTube page, which you can check out here, you'll find videos lauding great female drummers, singers and—of course—guitarists.

Last summer, Alizee Defan created two videos dubbed "Battle of the Best Female Guitarists in the World," and you can check them out below.

True to their titles, the clips certainly do feature some fine fretwork courtesy of a host of guitarists, including Jessica Gardlund (pictured above) and, well, lots of other people whose names we can't seem to locate in the clips (although the Iron Maidens' Nita Strauss and Courtney Cox make an appearance, as does French guitarist Tina S. You'll also see bassist Tal Wilkenfeld, who is not a guitarist ...).

Below, we've included both videos. The top video is "Battle of the Best Female Guitarists in the World, Part 1." Below that is "Battle of the Best Female Guitarists in the World, Round 2."

As always, enjoy! And feel free to comment ...

04. 14-Year-Old Guitarist Tina S. Performs Yngwie Malmsteen's "Arpeggios from Hell" — Video

Today we bring you a brand-new video from 14-year-old French guitarist Tina S.—her first of 2014.

In the video, which she posted to YouTube Thursday, March 20, she covers Yngwie Malmsteen's "Arpeggios from Hell."

"[This song] has the most extreme arpeggios that I've ever come up with," Malmsteen says (before he plays "Arpeggios from Hell") in the video at the bottom of this story. "[It's] in a lot of octaves and a lot of different modes. It's very hard to explain."

"I really enjoy playing Malmsteen," Tina added earlier today. "Playing one of his songs was a real challenge as the difficulty is huge."

Tina has become well known to readers of for her effortless covers of Eddie Van Halen's "Eruption," Steve Vai's version of Paganini's 5th Caprice, Dream Theater's "The Best of Times" and her shred tribute to Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi.

For more about Tina, check out the links above (and under RELATED CONTENT), and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

03. Iron Maidens' Nita Strauss and Courtney Cox Shred at NAMM Show — Video

Consider this one a blast from the past.

Although we shared this video earlier this year (as part of another story), we've decided to break it into its own mini-feature this afternoon, due to popular demand.

It shows the Iron Maidens' Nita Strauss, left, and Courtney Cox shredding at the BOSS booth at the 2012 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. I was at NAMM that year; I can't believe I missed this!

Of course, if you follow, you know Strauss is now one of Alice Cooper's guitarists.

Just try to ignore those weird moaning noises some guy is making near the beginning of the video. Yeah, women really love that ...

By the way, the 2015 Winter NAMM show is right around the corner!

02. Tina S. Tackles Pink Floyd: 15-Year-Old Guitarist Performs David Gilmour's "Comfortably Numb" Solo — Video

Tina S.—everyone's favorite teenage French shredder—is back with a new video.

This time, Tina—who has covered everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Eddie Van Halen to Steve Vai—slows things down a bit and tackles David Gilmour's powerful solo from Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb."

Tina, who turned 15 earlier this month, posted the video to YouTube today, April 28.

"I chose this song because I find it beautiful," Tina says. "Musicality emerges from this song—it's simply impressive and touching. It's always a challenge to try to convey an emotion, and that's what I tried to do through this song."

Tina has become well known to readers of for her effortless covers of Van Halen's "Eruption," Vai's version of Paganini's 5th Caprice, Dream Theater's "The Best of Times" and her shred tribute to Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi.

For more about Tina, check out the links above (and under RELATED CONTENT), and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

01. 8-Year-Old Girl Covers Racer X's "Scarified" and Paul Gilbert Responds — Video

We thought we'd share this late-2013 video of an 8-year-old Japanese girl named Li-Sa-X covering none other than Paul Gilbert.

Below, watch her perform an instrumental Racer X tune called "Scarified." The track originally appeared on Racer X's 1987 album, Second Heat, and was written by Gilbert and Scott Travis.

No, it's not perfect, but it's impressive for an 8-year-old (or a 38-year-old)!

What's even more impressive is that, earlier this year, Gilbert took the time to respond to Li-Sa-X's video with a new video of his own. After he shreds a bit (as is customary), Gilbert invites Li-Sa-X to become a student at his online ArtistWorks guitar school, offering her a free pass to sign up.

If Li-Sa-X looks familiar, it's because she appeared on when she covered Guthrie Govan's "Fives." (Watch it here.) Enjoy!

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.